The news this week has been dominated by the devastation caused by recent extensive flooding in the UK. While the BBC was debating sandbags v flood boards for protecting households, the Government flooding response was published. A summary of Government announcements, news on flood defences and initiatives such as reducing the cost of tickets from Newquay airport is available here. The Environment Agency, in charge of flood management, is facing job losses of 11,250 staff down to about 9,700 in response to a cut in the amount of money it gets from central government.

The latest development in the lead-up to the Scottish independence referendum is the news that the UK would refuse to allow an independent Scotland to continue using the pound as its currency. This is a blow to the Scottish National Party, who laid out plans for a formal currency union with the pound in its white paper on independence. Chancellor George Osborne said that the pound is not a “CD collection that can be divided up”.

On Thursday the CJEU held that the UK’s use of protective costs orders in judicial review constitutes a breach of the Aarhus Convention, which aims to ensure that access to justice in environmental claims is not prohibitively expensive. (Commission v UK (C-530/11))

A BBC Panorama investigation found that certain student visas were acquired using forged bank details and fraudulent language testing, where the answers were read out loud and stand-ins were provided to take the tests instead of applicants. The government suspended two colleges while further investigations can be made.

Earlier in the week the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration published a report criticising the Home Office removals process.  The report appears to have been subsequently removed, but a cached copy is available.

The High Court held in Nuro v Home Office (2014) QBD (Admin) that cash profits made by illegal immigrants for work done in the UK could not be recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 as the causal nexus was lacking. (Judgment delivered extempore.)

Finally, an ‘exceptionally stupid’ man was sentenced to four month’s imprisonment for contempt of court. He had been sitting in the public gallery during the trial of a man accused of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and had taken a photograph of the defendant in the dock and posted it on a social networking site along with prejudicial comments. As a result of this the trial had to be adjourned, and the photographer went to ground. He was found hiding in a garden shed and arrested.